Monday, November 30, 2015

Can You Go Home Again?

When I was growing up—and when my children were young—holidays were celebrated one at a time. What a unique concept that would be today!
Only after celebrating the last summer holiday, Labor Day, with family get-togethers, picnics, boating and other activities, did we begin thinking of the next special day – Halloween.
Most people loved Halloween, especially children. It was enjoyed thoroughly and we didn’t even consider the next holiday until this one was over. Thanksgiving, one of the most important days of the year, finally arrived! It was anticipated with excitement by almost everyone. It was a day of giving thanks for our many blessings, and, for most families, it meant a huge feast, football and unforgettable family gatherings.
Then came the big one! The major celebration of the year! The cherry on the sundae...
Believe it or not, part of the beauty of each of those holidays was anticipation. One by one, we savored them – sucked as much enjoyment out of each as possible before going on to the next.
If you sometimes say to yourself, “Holidays aren’t what they used to be.” You're right. When they all run together from the Fourth of July through Christmas, something is lost to be sure.
C’mon, admit it. You’ve been seeing Christmas decorations in stores since early September, haven’t you? About the same time they put Halloween paraphernalia on the shelves, they go ahead and add Christmas items, too. Makes it easier, I suppose.
Everyone I talk to says, “Oh, my! the time goes so fast! It’s just whizzes by!”
Well, of course, it does! We measure time by holidays. Before one is over, we’re already into the next, and the next, and on and on.... Practically everyone I know had their Christmas tree up either before Thanksgiving or the day after. When I was a child, Thanksgiving weekend ushered in the Christmas season. There was no big rush. It was the ultimate “savoring” season.
Ahhh, to experience that feeling just one more time!
Thomas Wolfe wrote the words, You Can’t Go Home Again, but that doesn’t make me long for the past any less. 
Common sense tells me it’s not possible and that I must let go of the past, live in the present and look forward to the future.
But, unfortunately for me, “The mind can't erase what the heart won't set free."